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Injury No Handicap for Lifesaver

June 06, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

A legless Vietnam veteran who rolled his wheelchair 80 yards and then crawled 60 feet more to revive a baby who had nearly drowned in a swimming pool near rural West Chicago says: "It was in God's hands--I'm just a man." James Patridge, who lost his legs in a 1966 land mine explosion in Vietnam, said that when he reached 1-year-old Jennifer Kroll after she was pulled from the nearby pool, she appeared blue, had no pulse and was not breathing. "All I was thinking, really, was 'Come on, little baby--you can live, you can make it,' " said Patridge, 38, who used cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive the child. Jennifer is in fair condition at Loyola Medical Center. Michael Kroll said his daughter was pulled from the pool by his wife, who telephoned an operator for help but got a recording saying that assistance was not available because of a strike against American Telephone & Telegraph Co. Kroll said his wife, who did not think of dialing 911, then began screaming. Patridge, who has artificial legs but was not wearing them at the time, said he was working in his garage when he heard Jennifer's mother, Tammy, scream for help. He said he began rolling his wheelchair toward the Kroll house, but trees and shrubbery forced him to crawl the rest of the way. His wife, Sue, called paramedics while he climbed the steps of the pool deck to the baby and began administering CPR. Jennifer regained consciousness in about a minute and started to cry. Patridge said he took a CPR course "on impulse, for my own knowledge. I would say it paid off."

--President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, will go to Ford's Theater on Sunday to participate in a fund-raiser for the revival of the theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot, the White House announced.

--WJOY radio station received a phone call from the "pothole bandit," who said he was "taking vengeance against potholes" in Burlington, Vt., and planting trees in them "because I'm tired of seeing cars wrecked," said station news director James Condon. "He claims he wears a mask and gloves and did it around 2 a.m. this morning," Condon said Thursday. He said the station then called police, who had been unaware of the incident. Lt. William Lauare said officers found the trees at the three locations the bandit described to the radio station and the potholes were surrounded with barricades. Lauare said he did not believe the bandit could be charged for the incident, unless he stole the trees. "We could get him for blocking vehicular traffic, but that's exactly what a pothole does, so we'd be hard pressed on that one," he said. "Our big concern is that if he's playing caped crusader in the night he could get run over."

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